Greatest Judas Priest Albums

The Top Ten
1 Painkiller Painkiller Product Image

Definitely the best Priest album, and one of the best metal albums. There really isn't a single track on here that's bad, all of them are fantastic. Painkiller is the heaviest this band has ever gone.

My favorites from top to bottom are as followed:
1. Painkiller
2. One Shot At Glory
3.Between the Hammer and the Anvil
4. All Guns Blazing
5. Hell Patrol
6. Metal Meltdown
7. Night Crawler
8. Living Bad Dreams
9. A Touch Of Evil
10. Leather Rebel
11. Battle Hymn

Yeah, right this must be the top album. I always thought Judas Priest sucked as I only ever heard songs from British Steal and the like, which could as well be done by softies like KISS!
I actually came to this page to see if there is any album nearly as good as Painkiller and I would ignore any top ten list making British Steel #1. Came to the right place it seems.

I had heard a couple of Priest album despite my young age (6 years) But when I heard this I was completely blown away by the hard and fast paced sound, not to mention the darker themes. The production sounds as good today as it did back then.

A must have for any metal fan.

Like many people I know who came to Priest after their 80s heyday, Painkiller blew me away and I spent a long time trying to find another entry in their catalogue to rival it.

I failed, but many of the earlier albums are classics in their own right.

2 Screaming for Vengeance Screaming for Vengeance Product Image

When I first heard this album at the age of 14 I was blown away. The songs were so fast and hard. I never heard anything like up until that point. Screaming For Vengence followed by You Got Another Thing Coming really got me into metal. Although this album is ranked number 2, for me it is their best album. It set the tone for all their other albums to follow.

If you thought this was the best album, then you've got another thing coming. First there was British Steel, and then there was Painkiller. Then there was Defenders of the Faith. If you think this was the best album, then do not start screaming for vengeance.

Hard to believe they put this out the year after Point of Entry (which is underrated by the way). To me this album cemented their legacy though they've continued to put out great music. From start to finish this is the best Priest album in my opinion.

Much better than Painkiller in my opinion. Painkiller is good but not my favorite. Screaming for Vengeance is easily my favorite. Only album that comes close for me is Defenders of the Faith.

3 Sad Wings of Destiny Sad Wings of Destiny Product Image

This was a pivotal moment in the history of heavy metal. After the initial rush of bands that emerged in 1970 out of Great Britain, this was the next most crucial development in the genre and it was spearheaded by one band.

Judas Priest establish themselves in a unique position setting a bar impossibly high with complex songwriting, intricate musicianship and a vocalist that sounded unlike any other up until that point in time. The album opener, "Victim of Changes" would effectively set up the band's career and remains arguably the best song they ever wrote.

Without this album, the NWOBHM would not have been possible and subsequently, the thrash, speed, power and later, death metal genres. This is a monumental piece of work and the beginning of the band's golden age in the 1970s, an era that has yet to be equaled in quality.

The cornerstone record that defined and solidified the Priest sound. Dark, doom laden, downright evil riffs drive this record. Halford's tremendous vocal range rips through the speakers supported by the twin lead guitars. Taking the genre started by Black Sabbath to a faster and more metallic place, this album defined the evolution of heavy metal. The highlight, and defining song, Victim of Changes is simply one of the greatest songs on one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. JP's number seminal album that started it all. To quote lyrics on a much later record, this was the birth of the "Armor plated raging beast, the spawn of steel and leather, that will survive against all odds, stampeding on forever."

The best Judas Priest song for many reasons such as every single song ranging from very good to unbelievable. But the other main reason is for the simple fact that this is probably the greatest vocal performance ever achieved on an album. Rob Halford shows off his voice range through out every song. His voice is beautiful and this album is a showcase to that god like talent.

The only Priest album that has an atmosphere in constant presence, a consistent effort in league of its own. in my humble opinion Priest have another two outstanding albums (Vengeance, Painkiller) which both are fun; here we have no filler material... (just killer tracks that have become classics over the course of time). A timeless record.

4 Defenders of the Faith Defenders of the Faith Product Image

By far the best Priest album. Too many bandwagon Priest fans believe that Painkiller is their best album. It is a very good album, don't get me wrong. Every song on Defenders is a classic with absolutely no filler from beginning to end. Painkillers filler include: Shot at Glory, Leather Rebel and Living Bad Dreams. The first number of songs on Painkiller are amazing to say the least but by the end of the album it all goes downhill :(

First Priest album I listened to was Painkiller as I was a fan of the heavier, thrashier sound of 'tallica, Megadeth and Slayer. But right after listening to this album for the first time, I was completely MINDBLOWN and I have been fully convinced that Priest is the best metal band of all time due to its variety. (I have listened to their other albums)

OK. I am a young metal fan and when I heard this album for the first time, I was amazed! So many great songs (The Sentinel, Freewheel Burning, Rock Hard Ride Free, Some Heads Are Gonna Roll, etc.) This should be #1 instead of Painkiller.

I don't know how this isn't at number 1, it's more solid an album than Screaming for Vengeance, and unlike Painkiller, shows Priest at their peak.

5 British Steel British Steel Product Image

This album, kind of like Maiden's Number of the Beast, gets called overrated just because it's their most popular. But there are too many great songs on this album to not appreciate it. There's the obvious ones like Metal Gods, Breaking the Law, and Living After Midnight, but also look out for the unappreciated gems. The Rage, for instance... I've never heard anything like it before and it's one of the most emotional vocal performances Halford ever gave, but no one ever talks about it.

This is the best in my opinion. The feel of this album is amazing. The flow is awesome. One of the best album experiences ever. All killer, no filler. I could listen to this and Defenders all day, unlike other Priest albums

This album defines Judas Priest's best work. Plus, Breaking the Law and Living After Midnight are two of the most famous songs Priest has, and Metal Gods is terrific as well. Why the heck is this album #5?! Makes no sense. It has to be their number 1

Absolutely the best. Some criticize it for being weak outside of a few songs, but I find every song on here to be amazing!
Best songs: Rapid Fire, Breaking the Law, Living After Midnight, Steeler

6 Stained Class Stained Class Product Image

The perfect mix between hard rocky, progressive early Judas sound (Rocka Rolla, Sad Wings of Destiny) and heavy, dark, radio-friendly trademark Judas sound. Both complex and heavy at the same time. definitely best!

I just bought this album at a used record store and I must say I really enjoy listening to it. I grew up listening to Priest in the 80's and for me Screaming For Vengeance was it period. However, after giving this album a full listen I think it is fantastic. You can really tell they were defining their signature twin guitar sound with Halfords bombastic voice. An over looked album that deserves to be ranked higher than it is.

Are you kidding me? Stained Class only ranked at 6? This is an ultimate heavy metal classic album, it gave birth to speed metal and to the new wave of British heavy metal. Heroes End, Savage, Saints in hell, Stained Class, white heat red hot and Exciter are absolute masterpieces of Heavy metal. It is their best album with Sad wings of destiny.

The twin lead guitars really get to shine here when compared to, for example, British Steel or Screaming for Vengeance and Beyond the Realms of Death is simply the best Priest song ever. Sound quality is honestly sometimes pretty bad (Saints in Hell, I'm looking at you) but THAT should not be a reason to not like the album

7 Hell Bent for Leather Hell Bent for Leather Product Image

I just got this album recently and was very impressed. The first song is a basic blues chord progession, but the speed and the volume are turned way up for maximum effect. Just full on energy, and then on the softer side, there is a song called "Before the Dawn. " Slow and somewhatsad as the emotion pours from Rob, and the guitar solo is brillinat---slow but very metallic. I am really kind of new to JP and am looking for more albums from them that rock hard like this one does.

I have this one, Actually it is called Killing Machine (the one I have on vinyl) and I really like this record. It got very nice songs like: Before the dawn, Running Wild, Hell Bent for Leather, Burnin' up. Good songs and very good vocals! It was my first record of Judas Priest! And it is still awesome! I can listen to it all-day. Judas Priest is still rocking of course!

Unquestionably Judas Priest's best album of the 70's. It's where they defined their general sound and atmosphere, mixing the unrelenting instrumental attack of Stained Class with the Halford-centric British Steel. All classics from beginning to end. And zero filler.

1. Hell bent for Leather
2. Stained Class
3. Sad wings of Destiny
4. Defenders of the faith
5. Screaming for vengeance
6. Painkiller
7. British Steel
8. Firepower
9. Sin after sin
10. Turbo
11. Ram It down
12. Angel of Retribution
13. Redeemer of Souls
14. Rocka Rolla
15. Jugulator
16. Point of entry
17. Nostradamus
18. Demolition

8 Sin After Sin Sin After Sin Product Image

Why is this album 10th?! It's simply the best priest album.
Song ratings:
Sinner: 10/10 best of the album.
Diamonds and rust: 10/10 Awesome cover song.
Starbreaker: 10/10 catchy chorus.
Last rose of summer: 9/10 nice slow one.
Let us prey/call for the priest: 9/10 weakest song on the album but good
Raw deal: 9.5/10 great song.
Here come the tears: 10/10 Love this song.
Dissident aggressor: 10/10 Amazing track to finish the album off.

Solid record, Simon Phillips drumming makes a huge difference. Sin After Sin and Sad Wings were amazing albums.
You'll either like the stuff before Hell Bent or after. If you like Black Sabbath, UFO, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Rainbow, then you will like the earlier stuff. If you like Metallica, Ratt, and Motley Crue you will like the later.

The guitar tones and playing on this is album is fantastic. I think Halfords voice is great on this also. Great songs also.

Best ever. then stained class. sad wings. ram it down, hell bent, turbo, defenders, screaming, and so on.

9 Firepower

OK, now it's out. These guys haven't let up a bit. Halford wails and screams and it's spectacular. Too bad about Tipton not touring but all the guitar work, bass and drums is exactly what you would expect from Priest, first class and then some. However, here is the thing that will make this album stand out. The song writing is off the charts. Can this band that has been around for 40 plus years continue to lay down their best work in there very twilight of their careers? Give this masterpiece a listen and you will agree with me, the answer is a resounding HELL YES! Try, I dare you, to find a song that isn't far above average anywhere on this album. I can name a few that stand out (Chilldren of The Son, Never The Heroes, Traitor's Gate) but honestly there is not a bad cut on this album Nothing Even resembling it.

Should be top 5 or 4 incredible, they made this beauty of album in 2018, I am a long long time priest fan, it is good very good!

Stained class
Defenders of the faith
Screaming for vengeance
Firepower
Sin after sin
My top 5

"their best since Painkiller"
"their best since Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"
"their best since...And Justice for All"
"their best since Rust in Peace"
"their best since Meteora"
"their best since Seasons in the Abyss"
"their best since Back in Black"
"their best since Californication"

Trendy expression, isn't it?

One of Priest's best albums Rising From Ruins is amazing and Traitors Gate. Then there is No Surrender which is on repeat all the time.

10 Redeemer of Souls Redeemer of Souls Product Image

This album establishes Halford as the true metal god. The best work of his illustrious career. Simply aeesome. Imagine if you wil three 60 something metal stars and a fairly new drummer and a brand new guitarist getting together and making there greatest work ever. Got it in your mibd yet? Good listen to this album and you'll hear it. Unbelievable!

Should be 2nd only to painkiller. this album has some great heavy tracks such as "halls of valhalla", "battle cry", "march of the damned", and "redeemer of souls". actually all of the tracks are awesome, but these are the best. "beginning of the end" is a really epic song too, it just fits perfectly in this album.

The only reason this is far down is because it just came out. This album deserves to be in the top ten for sure.

I know, I know. What I'm about to say is blasphamous but... This is their greatest album ever, period. End of discussion.

The Contenders
11 Unleashed In the East Unleashed In the East Product Image

I had this album back in the day and loved listening it. It's worth listening to now just for "The Green Manalishi" alone. Wish I had seen them live when they young. I recently bought this album used as my first copy got lost over the years. Still sounds great. One of the best "live" metal recordings out there.

Unquestionably one the greatest live collections by any band ever. Every song a classic, why this is at 12 is a joke. Although very good most high ratings on this poll are for 80's JP when their best work was clearly in the 70's

One of the best live album of its era
The best line up I feel too?
Halford, downing, tipton, binks and hill

'Unleashed in the studio' it may be - but it's still Priest's best work.

12 '98 Live Meltdown '98 Live Meltdown Product Image
13 Ram It Down Ram It Down Product Image

Has always been badly underrated because it's sandwiched between the most hated (Turbo) and most loved (Painkiller) albums of Priest's discography.

Drum machine? No problem. Most energetic album along with Painkiller. True heavy metal sound and expression.

Just another top-quality album. The classic SFV/Defenders/Ram It Down style of Priest is their most defining.

Come on, if you can get past the drum machine, you get a great album.

14 Killing Machine Killing Machine Product Image

Killing machine and hell bent for leather are the same albums duh!

It would have been in the top five if the votes were not split

Uh... It's already on the list.

This must be in the top 5

15 Nostradamus Nostradamus Product Image

HOW IS NOSTRADAMUS 13TH?! God, listen to the songs and then vote please. The songs are consistently good in this album, unlike stained glass, or hell bent for leather which have only a few great songs. British Steel is THE most overrated album. Breaking the law isn't great and nor as living after midnight. In Nostradamus, the eponymous song, prophesy, exiled, alone, visions, conquest... The list is endless.
Also vote for Angel Of Retribution - a heavy metal masterpiece. The eponymous song, judas rising, revolution. They characterize not Judas Priest but the heavy metal genre which this band is a pioneer of.

This album is so underrated it's ridiculous. This album tells a very vivid story about the prophet Nostradamus and does a great job doing it. This album was an emotional roller coaster, making me feel empowered at some songs and making me cry at others. People dismiss this album as bad because it is not all heavy like painkiller, but when you sit down and listen to it in its entirety, it is truly a masterpiece. It is not my absolute favorite, but it is way to low on this list, so I voted for it anyway.

The whole way through, a great album. The concept really adds a mesmerizing element to it, and the songs are undeniably awesome. The only reason that it's underappreciated is because people don't TRY to listen to the newer stuff from decades-old metal bands. Same case with Iron Maiden, Overkill (who used to cover Priest), Motorhead and Testament (who have played alongside Priest).

Either loved or hated it's sad to me that this album is always rated so low as it is the best Priest album I've ever heard with amazing songs from start to finish. It is a complete listening experience and journey and Judas Priest should be very proud of this album. The biggest shame of this album is that more of it wasn't played live.

16 Turbo Turbo Product Image

Great glam metal from the Priest. Showing how dynamic this band can be. As with Painkiller four years later.

Glam days of Priest. People hate it because of the overload of cheese, but that's why I love it.

Very underrated album by Priest, it has great traks like Turbo Lover, Locked in and Parental Guidance.

Are you nuts? This is on the list instead of British Steel?

17 Angel of Retribution Angel of Retribution Product Image

The best of their recent albums in my opinion, it has great tracks like Judas Rising, Revolution and Angel. It also marked the return of Rob Halford who left the band shortly after Painkiller. It should be in the top ten of this list for sure.

Not the best in my opinion, but voting because it should be at least top 5.
The best thing they put out in the 21st century easily and I think it ranks up with the other hits like painkiller and such

Wow currently #14 on list, I guess a lot of people don't know this one because it's newer. Give it a few listens you'll be glad you did.

This is one of the Priest's best albums, so underrated! should be one of the top 3 on the list in my opinion.

18 Jugulator Jugulator Product Image

A very underrated album, often given a poor rating because it's the first album missing Rob Halford and the style of the bands music was much heavier due in part to the long gap between this album and Painkiller. Tim Ripper Owens features on this album and delivers strong vocals, he's since gone on to front great band's such as Iced Earth, Beyond Fear and Dio Disciples. Songs like Burn in Hell, Blood Stained and the title track all being great examples.

Several aspects make the sound of this album - thrash, groove, speed, death, traditional, etc.. Judas Priest blends it perfectly and creates their heaviest album, a metal monster they unleashed on the world when it was thought heavy metal was a dying genre. Well, albums like this proved the world wrong.

Very underrated. Probably my favorite. Mixing speed with the heaviness of earlier albums works great. Also a return to the more serious overtones and sound/style present in JP's 70s releases.

Deserves far more attention. Demolition too, they're both great albums. Neither is the best, but just because they don't have Halford them it doesn't mean it's bad.

19 Rocka Rolla Rocka Rolla Product Image

No love for Rocka Rolla? Classic 70s Priest with more interesting and creative songs than in the 80s (not saying those were bad)

Their most underrated album. Listen to Rocka Rolla, Never Satisfied, Run Of The Mill, and One For The Road.

20 Demolition Demolition Product Image

This album has some killer tracks, but I'm not sure if they beat killer tracks from other albums; irregardless, this is probably Judas Priest's most solid album, only rivaled by Sad Wings of Destiny and Stained Class (to which Demolition beats both courtesy of production). Owens is great, the guitars sound excellent, and the drums are varied and support the music well.

The album was great, the reason it is not on top of the list it's because Ripper is the singer not Holford.

I can't help thinking that Rob Halford and Layne Stayley are singing duets on this album.

21 Priest...Live! Priest...Live! Product Image
22 Live Insurrection Live Insurrection Product Image

Live insurrection is a great album with 28 song of awsomeness some songs are not Judas Priest and some are Judas Priest other then that this album Halford blew the roof off the stage

23 Point of Entry Point of Entry Product Image

Some people think Stained Class is Priest's most underrated album, however I think Point of Entry earns that merit. Sure, some of the songs don't have that Priest feel to them but nonetheless they are still good. Songs like Turning Circles, Solar Angels, Troubleshooter, and On The Run are very underrated gems. 8/10

I know I'm in the minority on this one but really why so low? I know it's not as heavy or prolific as some of their other albums but I think it deserves to be higher than this. Maybe the awful cover artwork put people off from listening to it? Not my favourite Priest album but not
their worst either,( Turbo I'm looking you).

While nowhere near my favorite Priest alum, there are too many great ones to name, I simply could not stand to see this ranked below Jugulator.

It's not nearly as bad as this rating hints...everything's relative people.

A fantastic album, it's simply against very stiff competition.

Album should be much higher up in the ranking. Good songs but could've been mixed a little better in my opinion. Solar Angels! picked up where Screaming left off...

24 Live in London Live in London Product Image
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